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General G. T. BEAUREGARD :
Sir, When I addressed you in relation to your complaint because of the letters written to you by Mr. Benjamin, Acting Secretary of War, it was hoped that you would see that you had misrepresented his expressions, and would be content.
I do not feel competent to instruct Mr. Benjamin in the matter of style; there are few whom the public would, probably, believe fit for that task. But the other point quoted from your letter presents matters for graver consideration, and it is that which induces me to reply. It cannot be peculiar to Mr. Benjamin to look at every exercise of official power in its legal aspect, and you surely did not intend to inform me that your army and yourself are outside of the limits of the law.
It is my duty to see that the laws are faithfully executed, and I cannot recognize the pretension of any one that their restraint is too narrow for him.
- Jefferson Davis
- The military operations of General Beauregard in the war between the States 1861 to 1865, including a brief personal sketch and a narrative of his services in the war with Mexico, 1846